Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A New Direction, and Why I Quit Blogging

It's crazy to realize I haven't blogged in almost 2 years! I had no intentions at the time of quitting cold turkey and dropping off the face of the blogging earth... But life happened. When I wrote my last post, I was early into my pregnancy with my second child, and I was very sick and chasing a one-year-old around. Any downtime I had I was trying to rest, so I decided to push blogging back a week...then two...

At first, I felt guilty, like I was letting my readers down. Then, I started feeling some sweet freedom. I didn't have to post new content; no one was making me. And I had so many other things going on in my life. On top of the toddler and pregnancy thing, we had just moved 600 miles and two states, back to our home town, and both of us started new jobs.

Soon, I stopped feeling guilty and even, *gasp*, forgot that I "should" be blogging. It brought some relief. I realized I had started to get very jaded with the whole blogging world. I had read every "how to grow your blog quickly" post and article by all the big bloggers out there, and yet my blog grew verrrrry slowly.

I had originally envisioned gaining a community of readers organically, but soon learned that just doesn't happen in blogging, except for rarely. There are all these blogging groups where you leave comments on their new stuff and in return they'll leave comments on your new stuff, just to trick search engines and algorithms into thinking your blog is more popular than it really is...I was over it. It all seemed so fake.

I was also tired of all the over-posting. As a small-time blogger, it was frustrating to hear that I should be posting every day or two, because I tried hard to provide new, original content with every post, and that takes time. I wasn't just copying recipes from other blogs, I was creating my own! Yet so many big bloggers are just copying the recipes of other bloggers (giving credit, of course) and posting it as new content on their own blog. How many posts does the internet really need about making the same batch of brownies? Millions, apparently. There's just so much of the same thing out there; it's hard to find DIY/cooking blogs with truly original content anymore. Everyone has mod podged a picture to a canvas, everyone has made some form of pumpkin bread, everyone has painted some piece of furniture a terrible color to give it "new life" (and very clearly date it, just like the avocado countertops of the 70s and blue floral wallpaper of the 90s, in ten or fifteen years people will find lime green dressers and bright pink end tables at thrift stores and say, "that's so 2016").

Then there are bloggers who really don't have new content, but they feel like they have to post every day, so they just spiff up their old content and repost it, or post a dozen things that are really the a blog I saw once where they had about ten posts on how to make homemade play dough, all the same recipe, but each post had a different scent or color. You really need a separate post for those simple variations to the same recipe?
(Did I mention yet that I was jaded?)

So, after my unintentional break from blogging, I decided I was done. I have contemplated writing this post for about a year and a half, but just never felt like it.

I have decided to keep my blog around, but change the direction of it. I'll update it every once in a while with stuff I've done in my classroom, or to share something cool I've just listed in my TPT store, but that will probably be the extent of it. There may be weeks or months between posts, and I'm okay with that, because finally, I'm just blogging for me.